We came back from South Africa nearly one year ago, and since then I’ve received quite a few questions from would-be Africa travelers. I was planning on writing a “personal tips for South Africa” post when we returned, but somehow procrastinated and now here we are…smack dab in the middle of 2014. I hope this post can still help some of you planning a South Africa trip sometime – it was one of my favorite destinations ever and I can’t wait to return!
Here we go – some of my tips and lessons from traveling to South Africa. Feel free to leave questions and suggestions in the comments!
1. Travel time. Yes, as I emphasized in my “getting there” post, the travel time is long. I was very apprehensive about this but it was actually better than I thought. If you are in any kind of decent shape, it is doable. But if I were to travel again? Here’s a few pieces of specific advice, on “getting there”.
– If there’s a time to be spending your extra travel pennies or cashing in your frequent flier miles for business/first…it’s when you’re going to Africa. The trip is totally doable in economy but if you can ease the way with larger seats and a more comfortable sleeping experience, this is the time to do it.
– If you typically experience jetlag, I’d encourage you to consider stopping for a night in Europe to get acclimated to the time zone, and/or spend a night in Johannesburg to do the same. It’ll allow you to be much alert and energetic for your actual time in Africa.
2. Packing. I was originally very intimidated by the packing process. If you’re flying on a small plane to a safari lodge, there are strict guidelines – no hard luggage, nothing exceeding a certain weight, and it goes on. And that doesn’t even touch the question of what you’re supposed to wear on safari!
– Feel free to use any duffle bag that you have lying around when packing – if you’re organized, there honestly isn’t a need for more when you’re packing for safari. If you’re like me however, who thrives on having little pockets and a system for everything, you might want to pick up the same bag I did for safari – this weekender from eBags. It served me very well and I would use it again. Plus it’s quite affordable! Continue Reading